FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR PAGES OF THE SEA

FINAL preparations are being made for Pages of the Sea, a national event to mark the centenary of Armistice Day, part of which is being delivered on Roker Beach on Sunday (November 11).

Pages of the Sea is an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War. It is being produced by film director Danny Boyle and delivered across a handful of coastal towns and cities across the UK where large-scale images of local casualties will be etched into the sand before being washed away by the sea.

The Roker event is being delivered by Sunderland Culture and will feature an image of 2nd Lieutenant Hugh Carr, a Houghton miner who was killed in the Ypres salient in 1916.

The public are invited to see the image of 2nd Lt Carr being washed away between 12noon and 3pm on Sunday.

Helen Green, Head of Performance at Sunderland Culture, and Producer of the Sunderland Pages of the Sea event described the best vantage points: “Hugh’s image is being created on Roker Beach just down from the Cat and Dog steps, so the best viewing spots will be from Whitburn Road – the A183 – above the beach and from the pedestrian ramp that leads from Cliff Park down to the sea.

“Parking is limited in the area, and there is no additional event parking so we’d advise people to use public transport where they can. There are no specific areas for wheelchair users, but accessibility to the area is good, again down the pedestrian walkway from Cliff Park.

“Low tide at the beach on Sunday is 11.27am and high tide is 5.25pm so we think the best time to see Pages of the Sea will be between 12 and 3pm – it will be dark by about 4pm.”

In addition to the main image, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the First World War. Templates for these silhouettes will be available.

“We’re also providing headphones so people can listen to a sonnet specially written by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and recorded by local people. There’ll be performances from a choir created by Cornshed Sister Catherine Stephens, Easington Colliery Brass Band and a Northumbria Piper. We’ll also be observing the two-minute silence at 11am,” explained Helen.

The choir will be performing at 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm for about 15 minutes. The piper will be performing in various locations between 12.15pm and 3pm, starting outside the Roker Pods at 12.15pm. Easington Colliery Brass Band will be performing near Grannie Annie’s on Marine Walk between 1.30pm and 3pm. Headphones for Carol Ann Duffy’s sonnet will be available from a marquee next to the Cat and Dog Steps café.

A kite-making workshop will also be held at the shelter close to Grannie Annie’s and the Seaburn Resort Office between 12noon and 3pm.

“We’re hoping families will then fly their kites on the beach in front of the shelter,” Helen said.

“The forecast for Sunday is good, but in the unlikely event of heavy rain we’ll keep people informed about any decision to cancel through social media,” she added.

Sunderland Culture is also producing a Pages of the Sea event at Redcar Beach on Teesside.

Pages of the Sea is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and delivered with partner organisations across the UK with support from The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

* Earlier in the day, Sunderland’s Remembrance Parade and Service will provide an opportunity for the city to come together to pay their respects to all those who fought in conflicts past and present and is traditionally recognised as one of the largest outside of London.

Hundreds of serving members from all three Armed Forces will join veterans and the Mayor of Sunderland at the city’s War Memorial on Burdon Road for the Parade and Service.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and are asked to be in place at the War Memorial by 10.15 am and advised to dress warmly. Parking at the civic centre will be available free of charge, access is via Cowan Terrace only.

POET LAUREATE’S PAGES OF THE SEA SONNET TO THE FALLEN

A SONNET written by the Poet Laureate for Danny Boyle’s national event to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War has been unveiled.

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy was asked by Boyle to write something for Pages of the Sea, his commission from 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

Sunderland has been chosen as one of a handful of coastal towns and cities to take part in Pages of the Sea, and Duffy’s sonnet, The Wound In Time, will play a central role in the Sunderland event.

Each project centres on the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in.

The Sunderland event will take place on November 11 at Roker Beach, during which members of the public will be able to listen to Duffy’s poem. Sunderland Culture is delivering Pages of the Sea at Roker and at Redcar Beach on Teesside.

Danny Boyle said: “I hope that Carol Ann Duffy’s poem will be something that you’ll read privately as individuals, or with friends, or publicly among people on the beach on November 11. Poetry in [the] first world war was such an extraordinary art form – it reported, in the way that television does now, on experiences that were unimaginable to the people at home.”

The event is named after the last line in Duffy’s poem, in which she mourns those lost in the war. “History might as well be water, chastising this shore; / for we learn nothing from your endless sacrifice. / Your faces drowning in the pages of the sea,” she writes.

Helen Green, Head of Performance at Sunderland Culture, and Producer of the Sunderland and Redcar Pages of the Sea events said: “It’s a moving, hauntingly beautiful poem – a reminder of the hundreds of thousands of young people who left these shores full of hope and optimism, but who didn’t return. It’s also about the futility of war and the fact that we don’t appear to have learned anything from the sacrifices of a generation.”

In addition to the etching of the casualty into the sand, and Carol Ann Duffy’s poem, the Sunderland event will feature a choir led by Catherine Stephens of The Cornshed Sisters. Singers will perform Look to the Sea, a song written by Bristol singer songwriter Heg Brignall.

The public will also be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

Pages of the Sea is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and delivered with partner organisations across the UK with support from The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

To see which beaches are taking part by visit www.pagesofthesea.org.uk

#PagesoftheSea

GIVING VOICE TO PAGES OF THE SEA

A SPECIAL Sunderland choir is being created to perform at Danny Boyle’s national event to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Sunderland has been chosen as one of a handful of coastal towns and cities to take part in Pages of the Sea, Danny Boyle’s commission from 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day. Each project centres on the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in.

The Sunderland event will take place on November 11 at Roker Beach.

Now organisers Sunderland Culture are looking for singers to join a choir to perform at the event. The choir will be led by Catherine Stephens, of The Cornshed Sisters, who also led the choir at the memorable Portolan high-wire walking spectacular, one of the highlights of this summer’s visit of The Tall Ships.

“We’ve chosen a song by Heg Brignall, whose music we performed at Portolan,” Catherine explained. “It’s a beautiful song called Look to the Sea and I’m very excited and thrilled to have been asked to lead the Pages of the Sea choir,” she added.

Catherine, who works with choirs at The Sage, Gateshead, and in South Shields said the intention was to perform the song three or four times over the time it will take the sea to wash away the image of the First World War casualty on Roker Beach.

And she’s hoping as many singers as possible will join the choir.

“We already have more than 30 volunteers, but there’s space for more. Anyone is welcome, although because the timetable is tight, some sort of singing experience would help,” she said.

Four rehearsals have been arranged at The Fire Station in High Street West, Sunderland, and it’s important that prospective choir members can attend all of the sessions, which are:

Tuesday, October 30; Thursday, November 1; Thursday, November 8 and Friday, November 9, all between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Choir members must also attend the event between 11am and 3.30pm on Sunday, November 11. It is expected that the choir will perform for 10 to 15 minutes on the hour from 12noon to 3pm.

Helen Green, Head of Performance at Sunderland Culture, and Producer of the Sunderland Pages of the Sea event explained: “This is going to be a moving, memorable tribute to the Fallen of the First World War and the choir will play an important part in setting the tone for the event.

“It will be an important element of the event and we’re delighted that Catherine has agreed to lead the choir – she did such a brilliant job at The Tall Ships Portolan event.”

If you would like to join the choir, email Helen at [email protected]

Pages of the Sea will also feature a poem written by poet Carol Ann Duffy which visitors to the beach can listen to or alternatively read to themselves on November 11. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

The public is also invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on November 11. The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website can also add portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War.

Pages of the Sea is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and delivered with partner organisations across the UK with support from The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The public can see which beaches are taking part by visiting www.pagesofthesea.org.uk

#PagesoftheSea

PAGES OF THE SEA AMBASSADORS URGE YOU TO TAKE PART

NATIONAL and regional Ambassadors for Pages of the Sea, Danny Boyle’s commission for to mark the centenary of Armistice Day, have urged the public to get involved in this Sunday’s event.

The public is invited to gather on beaches across the UK on Sunday (November 11) for Pages of the Sea, an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

Sunderland-born Coronation Street actress Melanie Hill has joined fellow actors Oscar winner Jerermy Irons, Zoe Wanamaker and Adrian Dunbar to encourage people to get involved in the 14-18 NOW commission.

Pages of the Sea will involve large images of local First World War casualties being etched into the sand at beaches across the UK. The tide will then wash away the images.

Videos featuring the actors are being posted on social media, reminding people of the events and where they are being held.

BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown is one of the local Ambassadors for the Roker Beach Pages of the Sea event, which is being delivered by Sunderland Culture.

He explained his own family’s connection with the First World War: “My grandad, Edward Ramsey Brown, joined up on December 11, 1915 at the age of 18. He enlisted with the 3rd Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry, but was transferred to the Leicestershire Regiment and then to the Dorset regiment.

“He was a private, left for France on the July 6, 1918, and it was while he was serving with the 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment that he was gassed and listed as “missing” on October 1, 1918.

“Fortunately, on October 5, he was found and the next day he was admitted to Wharncliffe War Hospital in Sheffield suffering from the ‘effects of gas poisoning.’

“He was discharged from hospital on November 16, 1918, went on to become the Co-Op’s youngest branch manager and – so legend has it – owned the first motor cycle in Seaham Harbour. He never spoke to the family about his war-time experiences.

“I think Pages of the Sea will be a poignant event and a moving way to remember the sacrifice of a generation.”

Sunderland singer/songwriter Marty Longstaff was also chosen as a Pages of the Sea Ambassador.

Marty, of The Lake Poets, said: “Artistically, I think it’s a fitting way to commemorate those who fell in the First World War. I know there were many, many soldiers from Sunderland who died in the war, who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“I like the non-permanent nature of the event, the fact that the image is washed away by the sea. It’s an ‘in the moment’ event that you can’t repeat. We should take great pride in the fact that the city was chosen as one of the Pages of the Sea locations.”

 

This week Marty was at Buckingham Palace performing a song he wrote with a class from Hasting Hill Academy. The song is about women serving in a Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) regiment during the First World War and won a national competition.

The casualty chosen for the Roker Beach Pages of the Sea event is 2nd Lt Hugh Carr, from Houghton, who died in the Ypres salient in January 1916 after a German shell landed near his trench.

The public are invited to see the image of 2nd Lt Carr being washed away between 12noon and 3pm on Sunday. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

Members of the public will also be given headphones to listen to a specially written sonnet by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Easington Brass Band, a specially-created choir and a Northumbrian piper will also be performing throughout the afternoon. Kite making workshops will be available at Roker Beach shelter.

Sunderland Culture are also producing a Pages of the Sea event at Redcar Beach on Teesside.

PAGES OF THE SEA WORKSHOPS

WRITING and printmaking workshops will complement a major event to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Film director Danny Boyle is producing Pages of the Sea, a national commission for 14-18 NOW to mark the centenary of Armistice Day. On November 11, Remembrance Sunday, a giant sand portrait of a fallen Sunderland soldier will be created on Roker Beach and then washed away by the sand.

Members of the public will also be able to listen to a sonnet written for the occasion by the Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Two workshops will complement the Sunderland Pages of the Sea event.

The first is on Saturday (Nov 3) when artist Pui Lee will lead a free, hands-on, drop-in workshop creating printed portraits. The workshop will be held at National Glass Centre from noon to 4pm.

Writer Carol Cooke is leading a free creative writing workshop with a First World War theme at The Fire Station, High Street West, Sunderland, on Thursday, November 8 at 5pm.

“Families have stories passed down from grandparents and great grandparents about the Great War and we’d love to celebrate and share these stories. We’ll also be looking at the literature that came out of the horrific experiences endured by those who fought in the war, or who were affected by it,” explained Carol.

Helen Green, Head of Performance at Sunderland Culture, and Producer of the Sunderland Pages of the Sea event added: “We hope that hundreds of people will attend our Pages of the Sea event on November 11 – I’m sure it will be a moving and memorable occasion. But we also wanted local people to have the opportunity to respond artistically to the centenary of the Armistice.

“Our printmaking workshop will enable people to create their own portraits, perhaps similar to those being created for our Pages of the Sea event, while the writing workshop may give people the opportunity to respond to the horrors of the War, as Carol Ann Duffy has done.

“Both workshops are free and professionally led and we hope they’ll also be well attended.”

Pages of the Sea aims to be an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War. Roker Beach is among a handful of beaches chosen nationally to host the event.

Each project centres on the drawing of a large-scale portrait of a casualty from the First World War, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict.

The public is also invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on November 11. The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website can also add portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War.

Pages of the Sea is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and delivered with partner organisations across the UK with support from The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The public can see which beaches are taking part by visiting www.pagesofthesea.org.uk

#PagesoftheSea

2ND LT HUGH CARR TO BE COMMEMORATED WITH SAND PORTRAIT ON ROKER BEACH FOR DANNY BOYLE’S ARMISTICE COMMISSION

SECOND Lieutenant Hugh Carr, who lost his life in the First World War, will be commemorated by a large-scale sand portrait for Danny Boyle’s Armistice commission Pages of the Sea it was announced today. On Sunday 11 November, the public is invited to assemble at one of thirty-two beaches around the UK and the Republic of Ireland at low-tide for an informal, nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

A large-scale portrait of 2nd Lt Carr, designed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, will be drawn into the sand on the beach and washed away as the tide comes in. In addition, the public will be asked to join in by creating silhouettes of people in the sand, remembering the millions of lives lost or changed forever by the conflict. Each of the beaches taking part in the project will commemorate a different WW1 casualty.

Hugh Carr was born on July 13, 1891, to parents Thomas Carr and Mary Ann Carr (nee Davidson).  He lived with his parents and brother Walter Frederick Carr in Sunderland Street, Houghton-le-Spring and then in Chilton Moor.

He was apprenticed as a mining engineer to Lambton & Hetton Collieries Ltd for seven years, starting in 1905.

After the outbreak of war in August 1914, Hugh enlisted in York on October 20 the same year. After training, he joined C Squadron of the Household Calvary 1st Life Guards as a Trooper (number 3244).

In the stalemate of the Western Front, underground warfare, especially the laying of explosive mines below enemy positions, became a key tactic, leading to the formation of specialist tunneling companies that relied on former miners from areas such as County Durham. So Hugh transferred to the Royal Engineers, 172 Tunnelling Company, formed in February 2105, with the rank of Second Lieutenant.

Based in the hard-fought Ypres Salient in Belgium, and in cold, dark and dangerous conditions, his work would have involved digging deep defences and communications, planting mines and counter-attacking enemy tunnels.

Hugh was seriously wounded when a German shell exploded in a trench positioned in the small French village of St Eloi, 5km south of Ypres, on January 21, 1916. He was transferred by train to a field hospital in Remy Siding, Poperinge, with leg, head and arm injuries. He died of his wounds two days later, aged 25. He was buried in a cemetery next to the hospital.

His parents were informed by telegram.

The Pages of the Sea portraits commemorate men and women who served or who were casualties of the First World War, most of whom died in active service. They were chosen by Danny Boyle to represent a range of interesting stories – ordinary people who gave their lives to the War effort covering a range of ranks and regiments, from doctors to munition workers, Privates to Lieutenants and Majors. A number were also notable war poets who translated the experience of war to those back at home. Many are from the regions or communities they will be featured in, others are from towns and cities not featured, or from international communities to show the scale of loss. These individuals are a just small selection of the millions who gave their lives to the war.

The public is invited to explore an online gallery of portraits of some of the men and women who served in the First World War, and select someone to thank and say a personal goodbye to either via social media or as they gather in person on beaches on 11 November at www.pagesofthesea.org.uk. The images are drawn from the Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ which aims to tell 8 million stories of those who served from Britain and the Commonwealth. Visitors to the website can also add their own portraits of members of their family or community who contributed to the First World War. www.livesofthefirstworldwar.org

Poet Carol Ann Duffy has been invited by Boyle to write a new poem, which will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches on 11 November. The Wound in Time will be read by individuals, families and communities as they gather on beaches on 11 November and is also available online. A series of community-led events will also be taking place at each beach. People who can’t make it on the day will be able to watch the activities and portraits from most of the beaches on social media on Sunday 11 November.

The work is commissioned and produced by 14-18 NOW, and is the culmination of the five-year programme of arts commissions marking the First World War centenary. It is delivered with partner organisations across the UK: National Trust; Activate Performing Arts; Creative Foundation; Eden Project; National Theatre Scotland; Nerve Centre; Sunderland Culture; Taliesin.  The work is in association with Aberystwyth Arts Centre; The Grand Theatre of Lemmings; Magna Vitae; MOSTYN; SeaChange Arts; Swansea Council; Swansea University; Theatre Orchard; and Visit Blackpool.  Each has been invited to create their own event centering around the sand art on the beach and reading of the poem, tailored to reflect the sacrifices of their local community.

Supported by The National Lottery and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

With additional support from Backstage Trust, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and National Rail.

The public can see which beaches are taking part by visiting www.pagesofthesea.org.uk

#PagesoftheSea